At least 45 people have been killed in a major suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan, where a bomber detonated his explosive vest in a crowd of spectators during a volleyball game on Sunday. The attack occurred days after President Barack Obama extended the combat role of American soldiers in Afghanistan into 2015.
"It is an attack on sport itself and on the positive values it can bring to help build strong communities and foster peace and reconciliation around the world," International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said in a statement, Reuters reported.
The Paktika province governor's office affirmed that most of the casualties were civilians who had come to watch a tournament final, while another 50 people were wounded in the attack. more >>
Family members of the Pakistan Christian couple burned to death say they are being pressured to drop their calls for a criminal case and demand the government to protect them, in a recent press conference.
Shahbaz Masih and wife Parveen are petitioning the government to get justice for his brother Shehzad Masih and sister-in-law Shama, who was believed to be pregnant when a mob, allegedly led by Muslim clerics, burned them alive in a kiln. So far regional Kot Radha Kishan police have arrested 44 people in connection to the incident.
However the Masih family says they are receiving threats to drop their pleas for an investigation. The family said they have also been offered bribes of land and money to end the case. But they are determined to get justice for their family. more >>
A 40-year-old Christian man was arrested for blasphemy in Lahore, Pakistan, and has been charged with insulting the Prophet Mohammad, the same offense that Christian mother-of-five Asia Bibi is facing the death penalty for.
Qaiser Ayub, a computer science professor, had been a fugitive for close to three years, Fides News Agency reported. He was charged in 2011 of having written blasphemous comments on his blog, and has been avoiding police ever since.
An anti-terrorism court Monday sent four accused to police custody for their alleged role in the beating and burning to death of a Christian man and his pregnant wife by a mob of 1,500 Muslims for allegedly desecrating a Quran. Police say a local Imam incited the crime.
While 39 of the 60 suspects are already in jail, the judge of an anti-terrorism court ordered four more accused to be sent to police custody until Nov. 19, according to Agence France Presse.
On Nov. 4, Christian couple Shehzad, 35, and Shamah Masih, 31, were beaten then burned to death in Chak village near the town of Kot Radha Kishan, about 40 miles southwest of Lahore in Punjab Province. more >>
An official with the Church of Pakistan has confirmed that a Christian couple was beaten and burned alive over a false accusation made by their employer who claimed they ripped pages out of a Quran and threw them into a brick kiln furnace.
Raheel Sharoon, development officer of the Diocese of Raiwind, said Thursday that Shehzad Masih and his wife, Shamah — who were beaten in the streets Tuesday by a Muslim mob of 1,500 to 1,600 that tore off their clothes beat them before throwning them into a furnace — were killed because their employer said they owed him money, and he started the rumor to exact revenge.
"The real story is that the owner of brick kiln, Yousaf Gujjar, lent some money to the couple and when he asked for the money to be returned there was a confrontation since a majority of brick kiln workers cannot return their loans in cash, but do it by working at the brick kiln. After which he started spreading rumors of desecration of the Quran," Sharoon said, according to the Episcopal News Service. more >>
U.S. Christian missionary Kenneth Bae and American citizen Matthew Miller have finally been released by North Korea after their detention for two years and seven months, respectively. Their release was part of a mission by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, but former basketball star Dennis Rodman has also claimed credit.
"It's a wonderful day for them and their families. Obviously we are very grateful for their safe return and I appreciate Director Clapper doing a great job on what was obviously a challenging mission," President Obama said in a statement Saturday, referring to the director of national intelligence who was part of discussions with North Korea.